Wildcat Rowers Head West for Mid-Season Test
April 3, 2002
Manhattan, Kan. - Midterms are notoriously difficult tests in the collegiate world, and the Kansas State rowing team will get a midterm of sorts this weekend when it competes in the San Diego Crew Classic.
Kansas State is among 21 schools that will compete for the Cal Cup when heats begin on Saturday, April 6 at 7:30 a.m. Pacific Time. The Wildcats' first varsity eight will row in the third heat against North Carolina, Gonzaga, Villanova, Temple, Orange Coast College and Saint Mary's. The top two boats from each of three heats advance to Sunday's Grand Final.
"We'll have our hands full," said Wildcat head coach Jenny Hale. "This really is a midpoint of the season and the question is, 'Are we going to step up and play with the big girls?' The Cal Cup has changed quite a bit over the last couple years. There are a lot of boats with some speed and there is good competition. We'll get a big push from Minnesota and Duke."
The Wildcats' second varsity eight will also make the trip and will also compete in a division with 21 other schools. The 2V8 rows against Sacramento State, Virginia, North Carolina, UC Irvine, Ohio State and the University of San Diego late Saturday morning.
The San Diego Crew Classic is one of the most prestigious and notable regattas in the nation, and draws many of the top schools from around the country.
The Cal Cup is the second of two historic trophies up for grabs at the event. The top 14 schools in the women's collegiate division are invited to compete for the Jessop-Whittier Cup. That elite group includes programs that have been part of NCAA Championships such as Washington, Virginia, Stanford, Notre Dame and Ohio State. Still, Hale said that a breakthrough weekend at the San Diego Crew Classic might be just what her team needs to gain some national recognition.
"We're not quite yet playing for a Top 10 spot," said Hale. "But there are a lot of schools playing for a 12- to 30-spot and we're certainly one of those... We'd like to develop some name recognition. People are still wondering who K-State really is in rowing. Winning some of these races, like the one at Iowa, as opposed to being a close second is all the difference in the world."
The varsity eights have had very few lineup changes this spring, which could also mean the Wildcats have some momentum heading into an important weekend.
"We put our lineups together much earlier than in previous years," said Hale. "We knew that to keep our boat speed, we had to have our lineups done pretty early. We spent a lot of fall and winter training in Florida making those decisions. We're pretty comfortable with what we have, and I don't see anybody really changing much."
Hale said the only changes on the horizon could come in the varsity four lineup, trying again to get more boat speed in the second half of the season.
Following the San Diego Crew Classic, the Wildcats have a weekend off before heading to Boston on April 20 for a regatta hosted by Northeastern University. The home schedule for Spring 2002 concludes for Kansas State on April 27 when it hosts the Kansas Cup at Tuttle Creek Lake.
LIVE RESULTS AVAILABLE ON INTERNET
Live updates of each raceat the San Diego Crew Classic, including 500-meter splits, will be available on the Internet at www.crewclassic.org throughout the weekend.